Friday, August 29, 2014

Games Thirst Review: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Naughty Dog
Player: (s) 1 (up to 10 online)
Genre: Action/Adventure
Release date: October 13th, 2009

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune received good reviews, it was, according to those who played it, one of the shining stars in the early dark days of the PS3. If you owned a PS3 they said, you should own Drake’s Fortune because according to them, the overall package was astounding.

I can remember the day clearly like it was only yesterday, I jumped in my car, drove to the nearest Blockbuster and rented the critically acclaimed game. To my surprise Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was the best action/adventure title I’d ever played, and played again five times over, it was that good.

Fast forward two years later, and as you’d expect, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves has a lot to live up to. Again you’re Nathan Drake, and it’s a few years after the original game. This time you’re on the hunt for Marco Polo’s lost ship and the treasure it contains, then suddenly you find yourself on another mission altogether searching for Shangri-La in the Himalayas. Question is, did Naughty Dog succeed at surpassing in every way what was accomplished with the first game, or did they overreach and spoil the most promising title for the PS3? We have an answer, Naughty Has accomplished what none other in the past could; they’ve been successful at bringing a blockbuster big budget film to the PS3 and in many ways, have outdone Hollywood at its own game.

What Quenched My Thirst
Interaction: In video games, stories are never told over hours of play, unlike Hollywood, there are constant restarts, trial and error, all in an effort to pass one stage and move to another. That’s why so many people for so long saw video games as childish; a medium that lacks the touch or reality. Uncharted 2 does not only shatter this stigma, but in many ways, the back and fourth, the dialogue between characters are so effective, that movie directors could learn a thing or two by just playing the game. Areas that would normally be dead spots in other titles, are carefully and cleverly looped with intriguing conversations between main characters, making the game even more realistic.

Anticipation: The writers of Uncharted 2 did an excellent job at pacing the game, making sure as you proceed from one chapter to the next, you never get bored or lose interest. In fact, as you go from chapter to chapter, you’ll find yourself racing through the game’s heart pounding action, not for once putting down the controller, just so you could reach the end. And then, when it concludes, a satisfaction sets in, and yes, you’ll want to do it all over again. Indeed, one of the games strongest elements is the storytelling.

Controls: Drake handles just as the first, so if you played it, there should be a very familiar feeling. Just like the rest of the game, Uncharted 2 controls a great, stealth maneuvers, climbing, and seeking cover all work with a seamless flow, making it rather simple to position yourself, and get rid of your foes in whatever style you choose.

Game Ending: I failed to mention this in my intro, but I totally abhor Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune ending; I thought it was weak, not carefully scripted, it mostly felt like a quick add-on, almost like Naughty Dog rushed the ending to meet deadlines. This time however, the team has learned their lessons and deliver 100% on the game’s conclusion. You’ll come to understand all of what made little sense as the game proceeded, and appreciate the emotional ending that’ll surely cause even some of the most hardcore boys to shed at least one tear.

Graphics: Hands down, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is the best looking game to grace any of the major consoles thus far; I found myself gazing at the screen many a times as I got shot by my enemies. Needless to say, I didn’t really care, after all, there’s always the start button. But some moments are best lived in the present, there’s a sense of ‘this is where I was when it happened’ kind of feeling you remember as you grow older. Forgetting to play and basking in the game’s awesome, jaw-dropping graphics will be one of those nostalgic moments for me.

Climbing: In the first game, Drake did a lot of climbing, and now in Uncharted 2, his skills are even more useful, especially when taking down enemies. And although not all objects are climbable, many are, which in turn gives Drake the flexibility to tackle a situation in a number of different ways.

Multiplayer: What’s amazing about Uncharted 2′s multiplayer, is how the game brings in a lot of the single player abilities online. For example, hanging from a wall, free climbing, and even railing enemies. Online features both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes that’ll surely keep you coming back for more.

What Left A Bitter Taste
Nothing. The game’s pluses totally outweigh any minuses there may be, I found none.

Seriously, forget the hype, this is reality. If you own a PS3, you must buy Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and if you don’t own a PS3, this is your reason to run to the closest store and pick one up. Uncharted 2 is easily game of the year, let’s get that out of the way, because this game is doing battle for a bigger award. Naughty Dog’s Treasure hunting action/adventure title, might as well be the best game ever made, yeah, it’s that good.

About Ernice Gilbert

Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!